Mainling County Overview
Basic Information of Mainling County
Mainling County is located in the central-west of the Nyingtri Prefecture of Tibet, at the middle reaches of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, and between the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains and the Himalayan Mountains. It covers an area of 9,471 square kilometers. The average altitude is 3,700 meters above sea level.
The mine resources: gold dust, plaster, limestone, chromium and iron, etc.
The main economy style: Farming and forest industry.
The main species of the trees: fir, spruce, pine, oak, and cypress, etc.
The total cumulation volume of woods: 40 million cubic meters.
The special fruit productions: apples, apple pears, walnuts and peaches.
The Climate in Mainling County
In Mainling County, the climate is warm and temperate with the average annual temperature of 10.2 °C. In winter, there is much less rainfall than in summer, while the average annual rainfall is 764 mm.
With an average of 17.1 °C, July is the warmest month. In January, the average temperature is 1.9 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year. The precipitation varies 153 mm between the driest month and the wettest month. The average temperatures vary during the year by 15.2 °C.
Main Attractions in Mainling ounty
▪ Paizhen Grand Canyon Entrance（派镇大峡谷入口） is 3 Kilometers away from the government of Paizhen Town, Mainling County, at the entrance of the Yarlung Zangbo River Canyon with an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level. It is also the best viewing point of Mount Namjagbarwa（南迦巴瓦峰）.
▪ The Nanyi Ditch Scenic Spot（南伊沟景区） is located in the south of Mainling County of Nyingchi Prefecture. The ecological environment is well persevered, with humid climate and rich wildlife resources.
▪ Mount Namjagbarwa（南迦巴瓦峰） is the highest mountain in Nyingchi Prefecture. It, soaring 7,782 m above sea level, is situated on the eastern dege of the Himalayan range in southeast of Tibet. Mt. Namche Barwa and Mt. Gyala Peri (7150 m) climbs thousands of feet from 2 sides of Yarlung Tsangpo River, creating the world’s deepest valley-- Namche Barwa Valley. The average depth of the valley is 5000 m, with the lowest point 5382 m. In 1994, the Great Canyon of the Namjagbarwa Valley was confirmed as the largest in the world by both the American Geographic Committee and the Guinness Book of World Records.
▪ Yarlung Zangbu Grand Canyon（雅鲁藏布大峡谷）: The downstream of Yarlung Zangbu River makes a sharp turn aound Namjagbarwa Mountain and flows to the south in Nyingchi, hence the precipitous canyon.
▪ Qiangna Monastery（羌纳寺） is located in Qiangan Town of Mainling County, which covers an area of 5,088 square meters, with nine monks. The temple belonging to Kagyu sect was originally built in a gutter of Qiangna Township in the 15th century. After the earthquake, it was moved to the present position in 1953 and changed to the Gelug sect.
Festivals and Activities in Mainling County
Gongbu Festival（贡布节） is celebrated every October first in Tibetan Calendar in many places of Nyingchi Prefecture including Mainling County. During this festival, Tibetan people will observe some brilliant activities such as casting out the devils, inviting their dogs to eat the new year dinner, enjoying special Tibetan food Jieda（结达）, carrying water home from the river and enshrine the goddess of the harvest, etc.
Saga Dawa Festival
Saga means “the fourth” and Dawa refers to “month” in Tibetan. This festival is celebrated for whole month and is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in Tibet. But the fifteenth day of the month is very special as Sakyamuni was born, attained Nirvana (enlightenment), stepped into Parinirvana (death). Tibetans believe that it would accumulate immense of merits during that particular day by giving generosity, stopping killing animals and eating meats, etc. Monks chanting in monasteries, cham dancing and other religious activities dominate the occasion. The festival is called “Qiong ren Jie” in Chinese which means poor people’s day because Tibetan peoples’ generosity to the poor people is well known.
What to See in Saga Dawa Festival
- Hundreds of Tibetan people circumambulating around the Barkhor, Tsekhor(Circuit around Potala) and Lingkhor.
- Liberation of fishes in Lhasa river(Kyichu) and other animals according to their budgets.
- Monks reciting prayer in Assembly hall in monasteries and serving butter tea during intermission.
- Hundreds of Tibetan people lined up in Drepung kitchen for making their donation for the monks during chanting prayers in assembly hall.
- Tibetan people will never eat meats during 15th day of the Saga Dawa and you can see every Tibetans eating vegetables in restaurant after finishing their circumambulation.
- Tibetan peoples busy with visiting various monasteries.
- Tibetan peoples’ generosity to the poor people by giving them material help.
- After finished visiting monasteries, Tibetans will go for picnics in different picnic centres in Lhasa.
- Even in picnics, older Tibetans mumbling mantras by rosary in left hand and small prayer wheel in their right hand.
Local Products in Mainling County
Saussurea involucrate（雪莲） is a kind of herbaceous plant which has always been a symbol of holiness in Tibet area because it survives in the snow mountain. Saussurea involucrate grows at an altitude of 4,800-5,800 on the high mountains and in the rubble near the snow line. It is characterized by its long-term growth in alpine cold and drought conditions.
The bulb of fritillary（贝母） is divided into two categories: the Xi Fritillary and the Chuan Fritillary, The one which are grown in Mainling County belongs to Chuan Fritillary with an annual output of about 100 kilogram. If you've ever coughed up with a cold, just try to have some fritillary, and you will be ok soon. It’s also the most common ingredients of many Chinese herbal medicines in the market.
Gentiana macrophylla（秦艽） is a perennial herb of gentianaceae（龙胆科）, which is bitter and warm-natured. The main function of Gentiana macrophylla is to remove wind temperature, reduce the heat in the body and to stop the disease. It can also cure the diseases of muscles and nerves, the pain of the joints, and the fever of the infantile. The annual output of Mainling County can be about 50 tons.
Fry highland barley（炒青稞） is like a white flower which smells really fragrant, and with a mouthful crisp and sweat better than the popcorn when you have a try.
Travel Tips in Mainling County
During the end of March and early April, you can see peach blossoms in Nyingchi. Alpine azalea blooms in May and June.
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